iconimg Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Snigdhendu Bhattacharya, Hindustan Times
Kolkata, March 09, 2014
Indian celebrities need not head towards the UK anymore to get a place in Madame Tussauds’. They can instead petition Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee for a perch of their wax selves in Kolkata’s own version of the British museum. Actors Shah Rukh Khan — a personal favourite and friend of Mamata — and Amitabh Bachchan might be two lucky non-Bengalis to feature alongside ‘state’s most illustrious sons and daughters’ — Suchitra Sen, Kishore Kumar, Manna De, Sourav Ganguly and Mithun Chakraborty.

Mahatma Gandhi, Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar, too, would rub shoulders with Rabindranath Tagore, Kazi Nazrul Islam and Jagadish Chandra Bose.

Spread over 10,000 sqft, the state-run wax museum at Rajarhat was conceived after urban development minister Firhad Hakim and principal secretary of urban development department Debashis Sen visited Madam Tussaud’s wax museum in London during a state visit in 2012.

“Work is progressing fast. We hope to open it before Durga Puja this year,” Sen told HT. An art aficionado, the CM, too, Thursday mentioned the museum, for which Asansol-based wax artist Sushanta Roy is making the statues. There are two wax museums in the country – one founded and maintained by Roy in Asansol and the other one in Mumbai by wax artist Sunil Kandaloor.